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Blonde Sinner (1956)

Yield to the Night (original title)
A young woman who has been abused and taken advantage of by all the men in her life, finally finds a man she believes truly loves her, but she snaps when she finds out that he, too, is ... See full summary »

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Writers:

, (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Matron Hilda MacFarlane
...
Jim Lancaster
Marie Ney ...
Prison Governess
Geoffrey Keen ...
Prison Chaplain
Liam Redmond ...
Prison Doctor
Olga Lindo ...
Senior Matron Hill
Joan Miller ...
Matron Barker
Marjorie Rhodes ...
Matron Brandon
Molly Urquhart ...
Matron Mason
Mary Mackenzie ...
Matron Maxwell
Harry Locke ...
Fred Hilton
Michael Ripper ...
Roy, bar good-timer
Joyce Blair ...
Doris, storeclerk-friend
Charles Clay ...
Bob, Doris' sugar-daddy
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Storyline

A young woman who has been abused and taken advantage of by all the men in her life, finally finds a man she believes truly loves her, but she snaps when she finds out that he, too, is cheating on her, and she kills her boyfriend's mistress. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HERE SHE IS! That Eye-Filling Gasp-Provoking BLONDE BOMBSHELL! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blonde Sinner  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director J. Lee Thompson was married to the writer of the book this film is based on, Joan Henry. They met while Thompson was filming Young and Willing (1954) which was also based on a novel by Joan Henry. See more »

Goofs

When Mary Hilton carries out the murder she fires seven shots from a six shot revolver. There are cuts between a few different camera angles but this all takes place as her victim slowly falls to the ground. There is no time to reload. See more »

Connections

Featured in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

The Very Thought Of You
(uncredited)
Written by Ray Noble
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User Reviews

 
More than just a blonde bombshell!
22 August 2000 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Diana Dors in her first dramatic role, and last before her unsuccessful venture into Hollywood, sees her trade in her glamorous image for a more realistic and down to earth performance as a woman who finds herself on death row after committing a crime of passion. The film, based on a John Henry novel, has obvious similarities to the real life drama of Ruth Ellis, who murdered her ex-lover on a busy London street and become the last British woman to be hung a year before this film was made.

Dors had become one of the more famous starlets to emerge in Britain's post-war attempt at a Hollywood-like star system. Her familiarity with British audiences no doubt ensured sympathy for her character, which played partly on her bad-girl image. However, this was more than a mere star vehicle, and it saw her transform herself from a star to a serious actress. The American distributors seemed to miss the point somewhat, titling the film on its release there, 'Blonde Sinner'.

The film obviously draws upon the controversial issue of capital punishment. There is no doubt that, despite us witnessing her murder in cold blood, our sympathies are meant to lie with Dors' character. This is of course partly due to her star persona but also because of the way in which the film is directed. Rarely do we see the face of her victim who we learn nothing of apart from his cold attitude towards her ex-lover, Michael Craig, whom Dors has shown nothing but compassion for. Her callous attitude towards his tragic New Years eve suicide is exemplary of this, when she shrugs him off as someone who had just been a nuisance to her.

However, the film is commendable in that manages to avoid mere melodrama. We don't just get a one-sided view of events. We are left in no doubt that the Dors character is herself an adultress who committed a murder with malice and forethought. The issue the film achieves in getting across is the detrimental effect the capital punishment system has on those who are around it. Not only do we see the effect it has on Dors' family but also we get an insight of the wardesses who are with her for her final days. In particular we recognise the discipline shown by Yvonne Mitchell's character, Macfarlane, a young wardess who is drawn with compassion and sympathy towards Dors, and yet must contain her emotions especially during the last agonisingly pensive hours. There is also a feeling that we should not be overly sympathetic towards Dors, as she is rebuked by an elderly Christian lady that visits her for being too self-pitying and for showing little or no remorse. This theme is of course drawn on in more detail in Tim Robbins' recent death row drama 'Dead Man Walking'.

J. Lee Thompson's taut direction shows signs of his later atmospheric Stateside successes such as 'Cape Fear'. The expressionistic filming techniques used to add to the claustrophobic tension of the prison cell scenes are particularly effective. Yvonne Mitchell provides a strong supporting role as the young wardess who befriends Dors. However, it is Dors herself who should be applauded most of all for her emotional and naturalistic performance as the woman awaiting her fate. Some of the film's themes may seem rather cliched to a modern audience but I would imagine it hit a nerve when the issue was at the forethought of the British consciousness.


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